The Things I Carry

Someone asked me the other day about my necklace. Then they apologised and suggested it was too personal a question.

But it’s not. I’m more than happy to talk about my necklace, it’s just that no one ever asks.

What I wear is a silver matchbox on a long chain. I wear it every day and with all outfits. I sleep with it on. I only take it off when I bathe. Usually the matchbox is hidden in my cleavage, so people don’t tend to even notice it. It’s similar to this one, from


The matchbox is hallmarked for 1910, and belonged to my great grand-uncle. He was a pipe smoker, but I don’t use it for matches.

What I keep inside it is mostly rocks. Tiny rocks.

There’s a piece of basalt from outside my childhood home in Flagstaff, AZ. Basalt is one of the most common, most basic rocks on Earth – kind of a building block of both the Earth and the Moon.

There’s a piece of amethyst, which the ancient Greeks believed would prevent intoxication and give you clarity of mind.

There’s obsidian, for protection, and tiger eye, for courage.

There’s turquoise, and a piece of sandstone from the Grand Canyon. There’s iron pyrite from Meteor Crater, which I cherished at the age of 6 because I truly believed it was gold.

Then there’s a poem about a friend I lost in my childhood. There’s a claw from my cat, Turtle. who died 14 years ago. There’s the silver ring that my husband first gave me (which is actually too big to fit my fingers).

What I carry with me is strength and foundation. I carry the memories that keep old loves alive, and the symbol of new love. I carry home with me, and faith, and a sense of the wonder and mystery of the world.

I carry with me everything I need.



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